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MIS Systems Thread, Connecting to SIMS tables from elsewhere in Technical; Hi all, I'm designing a new reporting and assessment management system for our school. I want to be able to ...
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    dhassen's Avatar
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    Connecting to SIMS tables from elsewhere

    Hi all,

    I'm designing a new reporting and assessment management system for our school. I want to be able to use all the pupil info that is currently held on SIMS, hopefully directly, so we don't need to regularly import data from SIMS to the new system.

    I've tried to (as a real 1st base) connect to a SIMS table from a asp .net page, but everytime I try to connect I get 'invalid object name' for the name of the table that I'm selecting * from. I've just chosen the table from a list, so how can it be invalid!!

    Can anyone help with any of this... was wondering if SIMS has things built in meaning you can't use the data unless you ARE SIMS.

    Thanks in advance

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Connecting to SIMS tables from elsewhere

    You're not allowed to directly read the Sims Database. You must use the provided APIs/interfaces.

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    dhassen's Avatar
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    Re: Connecting to SIMS tables from elsewhere

    alright chill out!!!

    crap eh

    Does anyone know if you can set up a daily export routine from SIMS then?

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    Re: Connecting to SIMS tables from elsewhere

    dhassen: You need to create a report (in SIMS) that gets the data you want, then schedule the command line reporting tool (CommandReporter.exe) to export this into a file. Then you will need to find some method of transforming this data into a format readable by your application, but doing it on the fly at runtime will probably have speed implications for your own app. So again, a schedule will probably be required.

    Not ideal but this looks like all we're going to get. And don't hold your breath for a nice standard-compliant API either

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    Re: Connecting to SIMS tables from elsewhere

    What about IMS?

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    Re: Connecting to SIMS tables from elsewhere

    webman: cheers for that, I was kindof thinking that's the way I'd have to go (but without knowing how of course!)

    And to be honest I don't really know anything about APIs or IMS (geoff)
    so I'll have to do a bit more research

    Cheers though guys

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    Re: Connecting to SIMS tables from elsewhere

    IMS is an automated export from SIMS to an external web service.
    It's designed to talk directly with VLEs for class list updates etc.

    CommandReporter is more flexibile in the data it allows you to retrieve. With IMS it is more geared for the above scenario so you wouldn't be able to pull of SEN information for instance.

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    dhassen's Avatar
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    Re: Connecting to SIMS tables from elsewhere

    Ok thanks NetworkGeezer

    I know its a biggy but how would I go about using CommandReporter / learning how to use it?

    Thanks

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    Re: Connecting to SIMS tables from elsewhere

    There's very little documentation on CommandReporter. Infact, the best I've seen is the help you get when you run commandreporter.exe /? from the command line.

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    Re: Connecting to SIMS tables from elsewhere

    Quote Originally Posted by dhassen
    Ok thanks NetworkGeezer

    I know its a biggy but how would I go about using CommandReporter / learning how to use it?

    Thanks
    If you raise a case with Capita they will send you some information.

    When I get the time I think I'll do a post on using CommandReporter and PowerShell.

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    Re: Connecting to SIMS tables from elsewhere

    I thought this might be useful for anyone trying / wanting to use CommandReporter.exe or getting data from SIMS on a regular basis:

    First of all you need to have a user that can create and run reports. I created a user especially for doing this and for using commandreporter. Then log into sims with the user and create the report you want to regularly export. The report needs to be saved in the My Reports bit.

    Then to use CommandReporter to export the report: using the command prompt navigate to the directory where CommandReporter.exe is, likey to be c:\program files\sims\ sims .net\ then use the following as your format:

    commandreporter /user:"username" /password:"password" /report:"reportname" /output:"c:\exportedfromsims\report.csv" /quiet

    Where username is the username of the user that created the report in sims etc.

    There are other parameters but I'm not sure how to use them / what they are used for yet. Hope this helps anyone

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    Re: Connecting to SIMS tables from elsewhere

    Could you not just use SIMS Assessment Manager 7 and Profiles 7 for your Recoridng, Assessment and Reporting Needs?

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    Re: Connecting to SIMS tables from elsewhere

    I'm sure it's possible but every member of SLT (all 7 of them!!) and our exams officer hates the idea of even looking at Assessment Manager. I'm a computing professional and I found it hard to use. Ah well, they're paying me more money to develop a bespoke system so I can't say no can I?

    P.S. on the commandReporter notes above: I had to add a line to the script to map a drive to S: drive in order for it to work when no one is logged in (users have S drive mapped auto when they log in)

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    I am playing around with commandreport but not found it particularly useful just yet. I would dearly love to run reports in real time, but it is just too slow for that. It seems to me that if didn't need to log in each time it would be faster. Can command reporter stay logged into SIMS and then run multiple reports on demand?

    @dhassen
    Could you get your SLT to run my school too? Our head has been talked into thinking AM is awesome.

    @Geoff
    Where can I get info on IMS?
    Why must SIMS be so mean about direct access?

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willzzz View Post
    Where can I get info on IMS?
    IMS Global Learning Consortium: Specifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Willzzz View Post
    Why must SIMS be so mean about direct access?
    See this post. It has quotes from various Captia employees explaining why.

    Autocreate AD accounts from MSSQL

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